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Economic Commentary

The Recovery of Durable Goods: What Exhilarated the Consumer?

Much of the strength in domestic demand during the first half of 1984 was in the consumption sector. This is not unusual for a recovery. Consumption spending typically rises rapidly in the first four quarters of a recovery and often continues to expand at a healthy pace as the economy moves into the second year of expansion. As shown in chart 1, the cyclical rise in total consumption spending during the first year and a half of the recovery was well within the range of previous postwar experience, rising a total of 8.7 percent. What was unusual, however, was the strength of demand for postponable, relatively durable consumer goods-especially spending for household equipment, such as furniture, kitchen appliances, and electronic goods, as well as outlays for clothing and shoes.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Slifman, Lawrence. 1984. “The Recovery of Durable Goods: What Exhilarated the Consumer?” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 8/27/1984.

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